The Mystery Of Flying Kicks

The Mystery Of Flying Kicks


Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

Have you ever wondered why a pair of trainers is hanging from a power line? So did the makers of this film, to the extent that they set up a website, a freephone tips line, and this is the result.

Matthew Bate's film is playful, with a wide variety of visual styles. There's your standard documentary camerawork, street video, but also reconstructions, animations, computer searches and a couple of seemingly fake online video sites that look suspiciously not quite like YouTube.

Copy picture

The internet is vital to the film, indeed at times it appears to be a documentary about looking things up on Google. It gives us a somewhat cursory explanation of memes, as that's at least one of the theories for those titular Flying Kicks. There are also suspicions of gang activity, the Minneapolis Shoe Patrol, and the Shoeville project, which uses silk-screened wooden shoes. Inevitably, among the drugs and rock and roll there's a suggestion that it's a celebration of losing one's virginity, in another context a celebration of leaving a job for a new one. While several theories are advanced, the film doesn't try to force us to pick. There's a lot of involvement from those on the website If there's one thing the internet age has given us too many of it's hideous portmanteaux, here of shoe(s) and graffiti.

Mystery, then, is a sort of global sociological survey, but it's somewhat limited by the fact that it's largely dependent on community input. Given how well Bate has depicted what he's been told, and what he's then gone on to find out about that, it will be interesting to see him address his talents to something a bit less trivial. Goodness knows, it's easy to wonder why, but the answers the film gives us tend towards human nature, and it should come as no surprise to anyone that people can be a bit odd. You could possibly call this a crowdsourced documentary, and the blog continues to gather suggestions - it's possible that, in time, The Mystery Of Flying Kicks will become a feature, but for now it's a short answer to a question that might bug you.

Reviewed on: 24 Jun 2010
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Documenting the phenomenon of trainers being left hanging from telephone poles, trees and the like.
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Director: Matthew Bate

Writer: Matthew Bate

Year: 2010

Runtime: 14 minutes

Country: Australia

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